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Woodward’s incompetence brought to light as Man United take £908m loss in transfers over last decade

Manchester United suffered a £908m loss in transfers under Ed Woodward.
Manchester United suffered a £908m loss in transfers under Ed Woodward.

Manchester United suffered a £908m loss in transfers under Ed Woodward

According to a report by the CIES Football Observatory (h/t The Mirror), Ed Woodward has a rather unflattering record in the transfer market for Manchester United.

The former executive vice-chairman was in charge of the club’s transfers for the last decade. He has made some splashes in the market with big-money moves but not many have worked out. The lack of acumen in the transfer windows has been a reason for our nine-year long Premier League title drought.

Manchester United suffered a £908m loss in transfers under Ed Woodward.
Ed Woodward oversaw the transfers at Manchester United for a decade.

Woodward’s efforts have however seen Man United top a table but not one that they would have been expecting. They top the negative transfer net spend since the summer of 2012, a stat that sheds light on the incompetence the club has shown in recruitment.

The Red Devils have spent £1.3bn in the past 10 years while bringing in £397m in sales to give them a negative net spend of £908m. If anything this is a major drawback in our efforts to establish ourselves as a major player in the game.

Our cross-city rivals, Manchester City come second with an £831m deficit. But unlike us, Pep Guardiola’s side has enjoyed massive success on the field. The outlay has seen them win four Premier League titles, six League Cups and an FA Cup.

Manchester United suffered a £908m loss in transfers under Ed Woodward.
Man United have failed to win a single Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson called it quits. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

One of the major aspects during Sir Alex Ferguson’s successful reign was the acumen the club showed in the transfer market. The likes of Liverpool have now surpassed us in the approach to signing players. The Merseysiders continued their excellent streak by snapping up Luis Diaz in January.

Man United have seen several of their most expensive players struggle to repay the faith put in them. Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Romelu Lukaku have all been expensive flops when one takes into account the money paid for them.

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Looking at the numbers, one cannot accuse the club of not splashing the cash. More often than not, the issue has been throwing money at the wrong player. We need to be wiser, scouting players that fulfil our team’s needs rather than just throwing money on a big name.

With Woodward no longer in his role at the club, it remains to be seen if the transfer activity will pick up and if we will show some level of competence in the windows to come.

Written by Pranav Nair

An Engineering postgraduate with a keen interest in statistics, pop culture and football.

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